Attention all gentlemen: It’s November and it’s time for one heck of a hair-raising experience! No, really, we mean literally.
Going strong in its 3rd year here, Movember sees men using the growth of their moustaches to create awareness of men’s health issues, particularly that of male genital cancers. While it can be said that awareness of male health matters have increased over the years, the disproportion in research funds channeled towards male and female cancers shows that much more can be done where males are concerned.
As such, the moustaches grown during Movember are geared towards sparking off conversation, creating a chance for all men out there to educate others about such a cause, and at the same time get a chance to look a little more dapper.
Understandably, growing a moustache may feel like a harrowing experience – especially for those doing it for the first time- , and with all the myths (whisky-rubbing anyone?) and plethora of literature surrounding mo’ maintenance on the internet, the whole thing may seem too much of a hassle to undertake.
Thankfully, Singapore is home to a good community of barbers, both old-school and trendy bespoke ones. Be they using sleek and modern accessories, or a trusty and sturdy shaving blade, the common thread linking all these barbers is their experience and intense passion, having a level of expertise that will leave you feeling assured in all the right ways.
Hence, we gathered some of the finest in the men’s grooming scene and put forth common queries – from trendy moustache styles to basic grooming tips, and also debunking common myths associated with mo’ growing, we hope that Movember will be less of a mo’rtifying experience, and hopefully one you gents will take up again next year!
Time to get your mo(jo) on!
What do you think is stopping most men from growing a moustache here in Singapore?
Quester, Chief Barber at We Need A Hero
Mostly pre-conceived notions, that:
1) Facial hair will make me look old or dirty
2) I will not look good in a moustache
3) I am not blessed with the genes to grow good facial hair
4) A moustache needs to be thick and full to look good, and I’m afraid I can’t do that
5) Keeping one is too much of a hassle.
To a certain extent it is true that a moustache will make you look different, but it does not have to be so in a bad way. Simply keeping it neat and tidy when it grows out will in fact, add another dimension to your appearance.
It’s also true that genetics do play a big role in the growth of one’s facial hair, but that’s where your barber comes in. He or she can help you assess what you have, anticipate what will happen, and then guide you along while you grow one. As I often say, if you want to grow one, go to one (barber)!
Is there any particular trend or style for moustaches right now?
Joel, Senior Barber at Jermyn Street: I wouldn’t really advise people to set their minds on any particular style until they visit their barber. Moustache growth depends a lot on the type of facial hair that you have (its texture, length etc.), so until you visit your barber, you cannot really be sure of how your moustache will turn out unless you have done it before. For most Asian men, their facial hair tends to be quite thin and wiry, so they can only grow a basic, straight one.
Lewis, Founder of Sultans of Shave: Facial hair growth depends mostly on what you already have, but the most requested styles would be the Handlebar or the ‘Tony Starks’.
How about styles suited for certain face structures?
Joel: Again not really, because a moustache acts like an illusion which you should manipulate according to your desires. For example, if you have a chubby face, you may choose to keep a goatee because it will help to sharpen your face and highlight your jawline. The trick is to work with you do have, instead of trying to create something that you don’t. Most people don’t realise this.
Quester: A moustache is like an accessory – where you can showcase your style by working effectively with what you have.
Myth debunking time!
Joel: No, whisky-rubbing doesn’t help (if not we could all just use whisky to solve our hair problems), and neither does constant shaving either. Constant shaving does not create new follicles in the area, so naturally more hair won’t grow. Eating protein-rich foods does not help stimulate hair growth either; what it does is to make the existing hair look healthier, as hair is made up of amino acids which come from protein.
[Writer’s note: All 3 barbers declared that such myths do not work, so gents, you know what not to do!]
Any grooming tips?
Lewis: Your daily routine doesn’t have to be extraordinarily long – what you mostly need to do is to keep your moustache clean, which can be done using your face wash. Exfoliating with a simple face scrub would be good as well. If you like, you can also use hair conditioner to soften the moustache, or purchase some moustache wax to style, and keep your moustache in place.
Quester: A hot shower opens your pores up, which makes shaving easier should you wish to keep your moustache in shape. Investing in a nail/nostril scissors, as well as a good comb will also make trimming much easier. Bone combs or wooden combs would be a better choice over plastic ones, as plastic ones tend to have a ‘cutting edge’ and might run the risk of cutting through your skin or hair.
Lastly, any personal tips for all the men out there joining Movember this year?
Lewis: Look at it as a way to increase awareness of the importance of men’s health, and don’t hold back no matter what kind of facial hair growth you’ve got, or what other people say of you. In fact, if you’re patchy or sparse in the facial hair department, that’s even better! It will give you a chance to educate people about this cause. Just go with it!
Quester: Pre-conceived notions will just become your own restrictions. A big misconception is that you have to grow out a nice moustache, but the main point is, it’s not about you – it’s about the cause! Don’t be afraid to be commented on because the main point is to create conversation for people to know more about the cause.
Joel: Just DO IT. Don’t care too much about what others say because you know that it’s for a good cause, and doing so can help spread the cause around! Unless of course, if you really, really cannot grow one, then… just stick on a fake moustache instead.
Jermyn Street is located @ 108 Amoy Street
Sultans of Shave is located @ 11 North Canal Road #02-01
We Need a Hero is located @ 57 Eng Hoon Street #01-86
Well well, DYK that Movember was a MOvement to raise awareness for testicular cancer? Also, hope that you are glad to be able to give up rubbing alcohol on your face now!
WE WANT TO KNOW!
But it doesnt matter at the end of the day…not with all the fun and quirky fake facial hair ornaments available out there!